Men's EHF EURO 2022

Montenegrian captain Vasko Sevaljevic furious about EHF EURO 2022: This is shameful!

Montenegrian national team facing a lot of troubles with COVID-19 positive players before the start of the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 in Debrecen. Before start against Denmark, three players were tested positive, among them captain Vasko Sevaljevic, who was already positive and then recovered before trip to Hungary. On the behalf of the team, Sevaljevic, who is now in quarantine, wrote dramatic statement:

“As the captain of the Montenegrin handball team, I want to inform the public about the current situation we are in. How we prepared, what problems we encountered in order to reach Hungary, and the most tragic one – how we were greeted. I will try to be as short as possible. I’m not someone who likes to do things like this, but I feel the need, because of these guys who will go out tomorrow to play against one of the best teams in the world, and also because of the people who love, follow, support us and who are all these years of giving will and pouring extra energy when it was difficult. And it was difficult, but as it is now – it is not. Never. In my 12 years in the national team, I went through a lot. Both good and bad, but I would not wish anything like this to any athlete during his career.
We got together before the new year and did the first part of the preparations. We played two preparatory matches with Kuwait, as part of the preparations for the European Championship. A lot of new players have been invited so that the professional staff can see who they can count on in the future, as well as for the championship that starts tomorrow. Everything went well, with some injuries that were repaired later.
We gathered again on January 2, rested, complete, which is the most important thing after a long time, ready to prepare as best we can. And then the problems started. The situation in the country with the crown is such that it was simply impossible for him to bypass us. We isolated ourselves as much as we could, but the virus was among us. To date, we have done a single real handball training in the complete lineup. Practically daily tests brought new positive cases, new isolations. We live in uncertainty whether we will be able to perform at the European Championship at all, for which we fought, injured, got nervous, suffered a lot …
A number of us are coming out of isolation after two negative tests, but we are left without a coach, both physiotherapists, doctors, but also a couple of new players.
Early in the morning we set off for Belgrade, from where we continue by bus towards Debrecen. At the moment, it was the only way to travel, because it was not easier, but by bus on a trip that lasted nine hours.
An hour before arrival we receive information that only we of all four teams have to go to another hotel, half an hour away from Debrecen, where the hall is located, where tests are performed, mandatory imaging with all COVID protocols. Hotel completely unprepared for our arrival. Why are we in another hotel, why only we, no one gives us a concrete answer…
Bus again, then testing…
This morning, the day before the opening of the European Championship, three more positive cases, among them me. Positive again. After a positive test, a previous infection, fortunately without any stronger symptoms, after two negative tests and completed medical examinations, I meet the conditions to be able to travel with the team and perform. However, on the new on-site test I am again positive and locked in the room. Complete documentation is attached, the situation is explained in detail to the organizer. We have no answer, nor do we seem to get it. Just information that we can’t play against Denmark. They do not allow me to repeat the test because there must be an error due to their kovid rules, because it is too early for a new test.
The organizers say it is too early for new testing, and the rest of the team has tested again and we are afraid that we will not be there again. And it is very possible. Instead of a new test, I get security in front of the door so that I don’t accidentally leave the room.
I cite myself as an example, and the same thing is with other players. Obviously, what happened to me can happen to anyone who later joined us.
We are absolutely not interested in the organizers. They are not trying to give us an answer, because they may not have one! They are completely unprepared for such outcomes. We are at the EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP where everything should be perfectly organized and where we should think only about handball and preparation for the match. We try to stay calm and positive, but…
I never put myself in front of the team, because this is a national team and no one is allowed to do that. I just want to help the guys on and off the field, as a player and captain of these guys. But they don’t let me. I am revolted because it is a shame to organize such a competition and the attitude towards one of the participants…
The point of my presentation is to acquaint the public with the real situation we are in and the injustice we are suffering. It is not a search for an alibi for a possible defeat, but a desire for people who love the national team and our Montenegro to look at our guys tomorrow as real fighters and patriots who love their country and fight for its colors and who will give their maximum against this moment. the best in the world.
Whatever the result against Denmark, Northern Macedonia or Slovenia – they are the best for me. And I am sure that they will do everything they can at this moment to make you proud that your sons, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, relatives, friends… who are real Montenegrins! ”

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